Monday, February 08, 2021
USA returns as an observer in the UN Human Rights Council
The USA are setting sail again in the direction of diplomacy: the new President Joe Biden has already announced that, unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, he wants to seek dialogue instead of confrontation on issues such as climate protection and human rights. Almost three years after she left want the US back to the UN Human Rights Council. Biden had instructed the State Department to “immediately and decisively” get involved again in the body, said US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at a preparatory meeting of the council in Geneva. But going back to the old conditions will not be the same from now on: the USA will initially as an observer “Have a say, participate in negotiations and join forces with others to propose resolutions”. To get the membership again, you have to wait until the next election at the end of the year.
- The UN Human Rights Council has 47 member states, which are elected by the UN General Assembly for three years. He investigates violations of human rights and suggests solutions. Its decisions are not legally binding.
- The Council has long been the subject of criticism because there are also countries among the Member States in which human rights are scarcely respected. Blinken reiterated that his government was well aware of the body’s shortcomings and its urgent need for reform. Instead of “meaningful changes”, the US withdrawal only led to a vacuum that “countries with authoritarian agendas have used to their advantage”.